Dear Computer Lady:
I recently updated Internet Explorer and installed Microsoft updates.
Since then, clicking on links within e-mails or websites, or even on my Start menu, opens the link in a new tab rather than in a new window as before.
I find it more convenient and quicker to toggle through multiple windows using ALT+TAB rather than using the mouse to click on each tab, or right-clicking the mouse on the link for the “Open in new window” prompt.
How can I change the default from new tab to new window?
I have to admit, I never thought of using the keyboard to switch between web pages, that’s a great idea. I do usually use the keyboard to scroll down a web page, so using the keyboard to switch between pages in internetexplorer would be great!
I have two possible solutions for your problem. The first is to use a keyboard combination to switch between the tabs in your Internet Explorer window, and the second is to change the default settings in IE so that all new pages open up in their own window.
If you want to toggle through multiple tabs in Internet Explorer (This works in Google Chrome too!) just use the keyboard combination, Ctrl+Tab or Ctrl+Shift+Tab (Using the shift key, reverses the direction)
If you have a large number of tabs open in your browser, you can press the Ctrl key and a number to go to that number tab. So, Ctrl+1 takes you to the first tab in your browser, and Ctrl+5 takes you to the fifth tab.
The other solution would be to change the behavior of Internet Explorer so that it opens each web page in its own window.
1. Click on “Start” then click on “Control Panel” in the right column.
2. In the Control Panel, click on “Network and Internet”.
3. On the Network and Internet page, click on “Internet Options”.
4. In the Internet Properties dialog box, make sure you are on the “General” tab and click on the “Settings” button in the “Tabs” section.
5. If you don’t want to deal with tabs at all, just remove the check mark in front of “Enable tabbed browsing” and click the “OK” button at the bottom of the dialog box.
6. If you still want to have tabs available, go to the two bottom sections, and change both of them to “A new window”. This will open both pop-ups, and links in a new window.
7. Click the “OK” button at the bottom of the dialog box to save your changes and close the dialog box.
It’s Your Turn: What do you think?
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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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